Nathaniel Hawthorne

Young Goodman Brown:

Three possible interpretations for this story about a walk in the woods:
  • This story dramatizes Brown's nightmarish attempt of coming to terms with his Puritan heritage and his male ancestors: religious intolerance, genocide, etc.
  • This story dramatizes the nightmarish attempt of a young man coming to terms with the maturation process of marrying young. Look in your class notes to understand how Brown put his wife on a pedestal of Romantic love, and she subsequently fell off according to his perspective.
  • This story dramatizes Brown's loss of faith.

The Scarlet Letter:

  • What does Hester have in common with Faith in terms of being treated as an object?
  • While we are here again reading another story of Hawthorne that is set in colonial New England, can you notice how Hawthorne protrays his Puritan ancestry in a negative light?
  • What elements of romanticism does Hawthorne use the most in his art?